Marco Verratti has insisted his “dream” is to be successful with Paris Saint-Germain despite speculation linking him with Barcelona.
The Italian midfielder was tipped ahead of the meeting between the two sides in the Champions League last 16 to become a Barca transfer target, drawing comparisons to Blaugrana legend Xavi.
But after PSG’s emphatic 4-0 win at Parc des Princes on Tuesday, Verratti insisted that a quote attributed to him suggesting “any player” would like to play at Camp Nou had been taken out of context.
The 24-year-old was outstanding in the stunning victory, supplying the assist on Julian Draxler’s goal either side of two Angel Di Maria strikes that may have put the tie beyond Barca’s reach.
Addressing reporters after the match, Verratti said: “I wanted to say something now, I didn’t want to say it before the game but there is a report saying that I said I wanted to play for Barcelona.
“I never said that. You know my dream. My dream is to win here in Paris. Even if we had lost again Barcelona tonight I would not have changed my mind – I have faith in my club, faith in the project.
“When you are part of a big project, that makes you feel big. If I win here, it will be different to winning anywhere else.”
Edinson Cavani added a late fourth goal for PSG to complete the demolition, leaving Barca on the brink of elimination and coach Luis Enrique in danger of losing his job.
After four matches in Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France, Unai Emery’s side will travel to Camp Nou for the second leg on March 8.